It seems that several big, new features are on the way to WhatsApp. First and foremost, it looks like WhatsApp is nearly ready to move multi-device support into testing. While that’s big enough news on its own, we’re also learning today that WhatsApp will expand disappearing messages functionality in addition to launching a new feature called “View Once” that makes the existence of photos and videos very temporary.
This information comes from WABetaInfo, which actually spoke to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg through – what else? – WhatsApp. Zuckerberg himself started off by confirming that the company is gearing up to launch a new feature called “disappearing mode.” This turns on disappearing messages for all of your chats, meaning that the messages you send will be automatically deleted for everyone after seven days.
Of course, users already have the option of turning on disappearing messages for individual chats, but with disappearing mode toggled on, that will be the default for each and every chat you participate in. Going hand-in-hand with disappearing mode is a new “view once” function that will make it so the photos and videos you send will be deleted after the recipient has opened them one time.
The biggest feature Zuckerberg and Cathcart discussed during the interview was definitely multi-device support, which will be rolling out into public beta in the next couple of months. Multi-device support will allow you to use your WhatsApp account across multiple devices even when your main device doesn’t have internet access, and Zuckerberg says that getting it up and running has been “a big technical challenge.” He also confirmed that messages will still be end-to-end encrypted when the same account is used across devices.
The multi-device feature will support up to four different devices all linked to the same WhatsApp account. Cathcart also suggested that multi-device support will make WhatsApp on iPad possible, but didn’t outright confirm that such support is in the works or on the way. We didn’t get any specific dates on when these features might roll out, but it looks like at least disappearing mode and multi-device support will enter testing in the next couple of months. We’ll let you know when more news is shared, so stay tuned.